Cultural Diversity In Education

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Diversity and difference occur in classrooms and communities, both intentionally and unintentionally based on socioeconomic class, cultural background or gender stereotypes. Educators must have awareness and understanding of these issues to ensure that all children are given equal opportunities to education and resources; to assist children is forming tolerant and positive views of diversity or difference; and to ensure that diversity among students is supported and promoted.
The Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] and the general capabilities section of the Australian Curriculum outline expected achievements in relation to accepting and understanding diversity and difference. These curricula aim to assist children in developing a strong
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Educators who respect and value cultural diversity amongst their students, and community assist children in developing the same respect to other cultural groups and individuals they are exposed to. Siraj-Blatchford and Clarke (2004) suggest adults who model respect, tolerance and a positive view of diversity allow children gain understanding and “challenge unfair generalisations and learn inclusiveness.” (p. 2) Children learn from each and very experience they have, both inside the classroom and out. Every social interaction they have with educators and other adults within the community assists them in developing their own understanding of the world and social issues surrounding cultural diversity.
Blaise and Nuttall (2011) discuss the concept of the ‘hidden curriculum’; Children often learn things that educators do not realise they are learning, nor intend them to learn. Ensuring that any cultural issues that arise are addressed immediately and in a way that promotes understanding and acceptance provides curriculum experiences, which expose children to a positive view of diversity and
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This allows children to create a sense of identity based on whom they are and what they are interested in, instead of what society expects them to be or enjoy. National Union of Teachers (2013) discuss that children are taught which toys, colours, characters or clothing are for girls and which are for boys from the moment they are born, and as they grow older these stereotypes extend to academic achievement, sexuality and occupations. Challenging these stereotypes ensures that all children are treated equally and given the same educational opportunities. Additionally, giving children the opportunity to develop healthy and respectful relationships that promote equality and understanding within their peer group, family or

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